Project Olympus, Next Gen Open Source Cloud Server Hardware

Microsoft's Project Olympus next gen hyperscale cloud hardware, AzureAD B2B Invitation API, Azure SQL Database 10 years Backup Retention, WebAssembly in browser preview.

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At the European Digital Infrastructure Summit hosted by Datacenter Dynamics in London, Microsoft is introducing "Project Olympus," next generation hyperscale cloud hardware design in collaboration with the Open Compute Project (OCP).

Project Olympus will offer a new model for open source hardware development with the OCP community, and will allow to contribute to the ecosystem by downloading, modifying, and forking the hardware design just like open source software, Microsoft writes.

With this approach, "OCP Solution Providers will benefit by being able to rapidly assemble hardware solutions specific to product offerings," and the "community benefits from proven base hardware designs on which they can build value added services," Microsoft added. This will result in "decreasing time for new product offerings, lower investment costs, increased productivity, and faster delivery of new capabilities via the cloud."

"Project Olympus building blocks consist of a new universal motherboard, high-availability power supply with included batteries, 1U/2U server chassis, high-density storage expansion, a new universal rack power distribution unit (PDU) for global datacenter interoperability, and a standards compliant rack management card," writes Microsoft. "To enable customer choice and flexibility, these modular building blocks can be used independently to meet specific customer datacenter configurations."

Microsoft said, it already released "server chassis interfaces (mechanical and power), universal motherboard and PDU specifications on the OCP GitHub branch. " And in the coming weeks, it'll open source entire rack system as well.

Project Olympus Server Universal Motherboard

Microsoft Project Olympus 19-in Universal Rack

Azure Government Documentation is now available, providing valuable guidance and common solutions to help U.S. government agencies and their partners transition mission-critical workloads to the cloud.

This new documentation also brings important information about using services, Marketplace, Portal and PowerShell in Azure Government. More content about how to build solutions and onboard successfully will be added in the coming months.

Azure SQL Database allow up to 10 years of Backup Retention for the data stored in Azure Backup Service Vault. In Public Preview, customers can easily extend the built-it retention period from 35 days to up to 10 years.

To get started long-term backup retention, "just select Azure Backup Service Vault for your SQL server in the Azure Portal and create a retention policy for the database," explained Azure team. Adding, within seven days "database backups will show up in the vault."

The diagram follow shows how to add LTR policy in the Portal:

10 years Backup Retention for Azure SQL Database

Today, every week for each of the databases, Azure SQL Database "automatically creates a full backup. And when using Azure Portal or API, a LTR policy is added to a database, these weekly backups automatically gets copied to customers Azure Backup Service Vault," team Azure explained.

Also, backups for databases encrypted with TDE, "automatically encrypted at rest."

Additionally, based on the database timestmaps, Services Vault automatically delete expired backups, wrties team.

Azure AD B2B (business to business) Invitation API is now in public preview! B2B Invitation API Capabilities include:

  • Invite an external user with *any* email address. "invitedUserDisplayName": "Sam", "invitedUserEmailAddress": "gsamoogle@gmail.com",
  • Customize where you want your users to land after they accept their invitation. "inviteRedirectUrl": "https://myapps.microsoft.com/",
  • Choose to send the standard invitation mail through us "sendInvitationMessage": true, with a message to the recipient that you can customize "customizedMessageBody": "Hello Sam, let's collaborate!", and choose to cc: people you want to keep in the loop about your inviting this collaborator.
  • Or completely customize your invitation and onboarding workflow by choosing not to send notifications through Azure AD. "sendInvitationMessage": false,

In this case, "you'll get back a redemption URL from the API that you can embed in an email template, IM, or other distribution method of your choice," writes Azure team.

The WebAssembly standard, a new, portable binary compiler target that is efficient in both size and loading time is in browser preview today Oct. 31st. It promises near-native performance on the web.

Support for WebAssembly in Microsoft Edge is being developed at the open-source ChakraCore project repo.

WebAssembly browser currently in preview is effectively a release candidate for MVP, and includes the latest:

  • Binary format, generalized from previous AST formats to a more efficient stack machine format; a more compact binary format generally means better loading time.
  • Equivalent human-readable text format for the purpose of reading, debugging, and occasionally handwriting WebAssembly.
  • Built-in JavaScript APIs to integrate WebAssembly modules to the web platform.
  • Up-to-date tools to produce WebAssembly modules, such as the Emscripten/Binaryen toolchain to convert C++ source to asm.js to WebAssembly, and WABT to convert between text and binary format.

In a walk-through, Microsoft guides us to sign in to Windows 10 device with Windows Hello, which uses biometric sensors to instantly recognize users face or fingerprint and unlock Windows 10 device in less than two seconds. No password is required.

To get started, just go to Windows Settings (or simply type Windows key + I) -> select Accounts -> Sign-in options -> Windows Hello. Then type in a PIN when asked, or create one if you don't have one already. For setting up face recognition, keep looking at the screen, and to set up fingerprint recognition, touch or swipe the finger you want to register on the sensor.

To add multiple-profiles, open Settings menu, then go to Accounts -> Family & other people. Select "Add a family member" or "Add someone else to this PC," and type in their Microsoft account email address, explains Microsoft.